Announcing the Kharkov: DotD Tournament!

Looking for an opponent for a PBEM game of Kharkov?

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Postby Roger Keating » Wed Nov 04, 2009 1:56 pm

I would also like to say congratulations to Talos. The AAR's have been well presented and have been very instructional, as well as highly enjoyable. I think they mostly say that to play any one of these players takes a great deal of concentration, effort and luck.

Thanks to Chris for organizing the tournament and making such an event possible.

I just hope that we can have a rematch when ATD finally sees the light of day.
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Postby Doggie3 » Wed Nov 04, 2009 8:48 pm

Congrats to Talos and bad luck Spuddy.

I'm also enjoying the AAR's - thanks for taking the trouble to put them together.

And thanks to Chris for putting the tourney together...looking forward to the next one!

Cheers
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Postby Spuddy64 » Thu Nov 05, 2009 11:54 pm

Doggie3 wrote:Congrats to Talos and bad luck Spuddy.

I'm also enjoying the AAR's - thanks for taking the trouble to put them together.

And thanks to Chris for putting the tourney together...looking forward to the next one!

Cheers


it is true that my luck was not the best, but I am intelligent enough to know that even with good luck, the outcome would have been the same. I can blame the AO system, but the truth is if it was different Talos would have understood the differences better, and the outcome would have still been the same. I thought I knew the game quite well, turns out I needed a few more harsh lessons that Lewis was more than happy to administer :?
I can only hope I get the chance someday to give a better showing of my abilities.
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Postby Talos » Fri Nov 06, 2009 5:10 am

I am now going to post a couple of thoughts that have not appeared in my AAR's which may be of help to others when thinking on how to play Kharkov or other scenarios as they are not really scenario specific. If i think of other things i may post about them as well if i think they are of significance.

Interdiction
Both the Germans and Soviets get interdiction during the game in the from of air power (both sides) and partisans (just the Soviets). Interdiction can be placed at any point during a turn and player should consider checking this at regular points as where interdiction can be placed will change with the movement of friendly units. This is especially the case with the Soviet partisan units as they have to be placed a certain distance from the nearest friendly unit. If you place them at the start of a turn or part the way through it be possible to place them in a more advantageous position rather than leaving them to the end of a turn. But note if you decide to move it after moving units again you may not be able to place it in the same position so know the limits of the interdiction radius.

AO's and Return Points
Spuddy has commented in his AAR's about this and so have i, but i will now make this a bit more explicit. Be aware of when AO's are changing for both sides and what those changes may mean. IE a position that is safe one turn may not be the next or further opportunities may open up so you have to be prepared to exploit them and have forces in position the turn before to take best advantage. The return points for units are less of an issue but are useful to know, perhaps more useful is how the AO's interact for either side so what units are capable of moving where from where else on the map. This was especially important in my game against Abwehr as it allowed me to reinforce Dneprovinsk when it was cut off from outside help on the map.
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Postby Talos » Sun Nov 15, 2009 12:41 am

Noakesy wrote:Well done old bean, tell us what the book's like when you see it? I think Mr Strax was quite keen on that one. :D


Just to say the book has arrived (thanks Chris) and its a fabulous piece of work, i am generally biased towards textual books when reading about history. But this photo view book with commentary is an excellent way to view the battle of Stalingrad and I will probable look at purchasing more books from this publisher as this is one of several.
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Postby Graf Starhemberg » Sun Nov 15, 2009 3:20 am

Congrats to Talos and many thanks to botth contestants for the great AARs, they were a delightful read.
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Postby mario vallee » Mon Nov 16, 2009 2:02 pm

I was sure you will win this tournament Lewis because you eliminated the second best player in the first round. :wink:

Congatulation to you and to all the other players. :)

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Postby Abwehr » Mon Nov 16, 2009 8:19 pm

Yeah Talos, in our game the system did favour your defense as the primary flaw in it (not having any German forces near Dnepropetrovsk) could be corrected as there is no way for the Soviet player to actually surround it as long as any kind of force (even Romanians) are present. The hedgehog system also meant that, although wildly unrealistic, my attacks towards Lannaya failed badly, shattering my entire offensive plan, a shock from which I could not and thus did not recover after I could also not capture Dnepropetrovsk. It remains my most "the system really got me here" defeat in any wargame to date.

Well played in any case, and when ATD2 is finally released, maybe we should play a rematch on a scenario that doesn't feature hedgehogs. Perhaps pete AU's new scenario could qualify for that too.
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Postby Talos » Mon Nov 16, 2009 10:09 pm

Thanks All.

Abwehr if you want a return game quite happy to have one with you as the German's and me as the Russians.
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Postby Abwehr » Tue Nov 17, 2009 5:24 am

It's not the side, it's the scenario, it depends too much on luck.

Contrary to my first opponent, who would rather be lucky than good, I'd rather be good than lucky, so although I usually don't really make a fuzz of losing, the defeat against you still hurts due to the system ruining my offensive.

I'd say that in game terms up to that point, we were fairly even. We both experimented with some different tactics, and basically did a good job of trying to maximize damage to the opponent whilst keeping our own units out of harms way. Our losses were pretty low all in all. You would've killed most of my units west of Izyum if we had continued, of course. It was a fun game, but I still have a bit of a bad taste in my mouth from those horrible rolls during my attack.

I'd prefer a scenario without hedgehogs, as stated, as hedgehogs are not my favourite new feature due to it being a coin toss you can't really influence whether you remove them or not. I dislike features that can't really be balanced with skill.

Kirovograd's an excellent scenario, but it allows little room for a mobile war and it's brutal, so I think I'd prefer a rematch on either the upcoming Budapest/Konrad scenario or ATD2. We could, of course, also play Fall Gelb for BiI, or perhaps Kharkov 1943, but I still haven't found a good way of dealing with the timed steps problem *cough*which SSG thus far hasn't bothered to fix, despite promises that they would try to fix it. *cough*.
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Postby Roger Keating » Tue Nov 17, 2009 8:35 am

Actually, the fix has been made and will be available with the next patch that hits the market. Putting a patch out requires quite a bit of juggling between Matrix and SSG so it is a non trivial matter.

With ATD2 arriving shortly, or as soon as possible at least, there are quite a number of changes to the system. Most of these are in the way of small refinements and most players will not even be aware of them.

The AI has had some major features added to deal with a much larger map, for example.

In a test game of ATD2 I am currently playing with Tempest he has used a very nasty tactic to void my determined Axis attacks. He has suggested that we change certain mechanics and this has been done. This includes penalties going to a maximum of 99 rather than 15 and a few other little things. Testing ATD2 is really showing where the system is lacking in a large environment and we are determined to get it correct.

Tempest has stated that this is a great scenario although I am not sure whether that is because he has nailed so many of my units or not.
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Postby Abwehr » Tue Nov 17, 2009 10:22 am

So, you're going to release a patch for BiI?

You guys keep surprising me. I don't hear anything from you for months (the last e-mail dated September 12th), and now there's suddenly a patch coming up. Communicating with the customer isn't SSG's strongest point, clearly, but as long as the issue is fixed, I'll be happy as I would finally be able to finish editing the Kharkov 1943 scenario.

Of course, there's a chance you're going to ruin my mood by saying the patch is not for BiI, or that "the next patch to hit the market" is in the distant future.
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Postby pete AU » Tue Nov 17, 2009 11:46 am

Penalties going to 99 - good greif.

One thing to consider - if penalties change, scenarios will need to be edited. I am balancing OP's available to deal with a max of 15 OP penalties in Konrad - if they exceed this some terrain may become impassable when opposed.

I was thinking it would be better to reduce OP penalties so 15 is rarely achieved and adjust unit movement accordingly. But, this is not the place for such discussions.

Anyway - congratulations Talos. Well done.
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Postby Roger Keating » Tue Nov 17, 2009 12:55 pm

Remember that HQ bonuses work to reduce these penalties so that if units are in command they will pay considerably less.

With the maximum at 15 it meant that this number would never be reduced, as the computer didn't really know what it was. If an HQ had a reduction of 75% the value would still be 15. Now if the penalty is 20 and the HQ command is a reduction of 75% it will be an additional 5 OPs .. not 15 (the maximum) as in the old days. Of course if the unit is out of command then you are in the @#$^&.

I found it strange at first that it was easier to get to places until I verified the process but this seems a lot better than the old way. Also, a few adjustments may be made to this before release of the patch, such as allowing a designer to specify the maximum amounts to both sides.
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Postby Abwehr » Tue Nov 17, 2009 9:05 pm

I'll repeat the question: will the patch be for BiI?

-

OP penalties will need to be balanced, as even with the less effective interdiction (compared to the DB series), the totals can increase quickly and if there's what comes down to no limit, infantry units might end up stuck in some difficult terrain hex for days.

Of course, the HQ bonus could solve part of that problem, but the mobility of forward units (outside HQ range) could in theory be dramatically reduced by the new limit of 99 points. 60-70 or so penalty points mean you can't move a unit by rail, so 99 points means the unit is nailed to the ground.

It would be nice of mobile units such as armour would give a greater ZOC OP penalty, but that might be impossible with the current engine.

Oh, and the HQ's themselves would need a lot more OP's and an useful movement type, not leg.
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